Good Birding in the NSW Hunter Region (19-22nd November 2003) Pt 1

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Subject: Good Birding in the NSW Hunter Region (19-22nd November 2003) Pt 1
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2003 08:44:09 +1100

I have just recently spent a few days (19th to 22nd November 2003) visiting a number of interesting locations within the NSW Hunter Region (160 to 340km north of Sydney CBD) and enjoyed quite a number of interesting sightings of mainly birds and a few other animals during that time. Some of the interesting locations and wildlife seen included:


IRRAWONG RESERVE (just out of Raymond Terrace, approx.170km north of Sydney) ? 2 Plumed Egrets, 10 Royal and 3 Yellow-billed Spoonbills, 2 Red-kneed Dotterels, 200 plus Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, White-winged Trillers, Tawny Grassbird and Striped Honeyeater. There were also lots of Cattle Egrets nesting at nearby Seaham Nature Reserve as I drove past.


MYALL LAKES NATIONAL PARK (approx. 250 km north of Sydney CBD)


I did not spent too much time here but I had a brief stop at the end of Violet Hill Rd where I saw a Wedge-tailed Eagle fly low over the trees, Fan-tailed Cuckoos, Cicadabirds and Scarlet Honeyeaters (which were abundant there and all the way through Forster. As I had my window down all I could hear is there sweet calls just about every second. They appear to be as often, one of the most common birds along the NSW coast in summer north of Sydney).


HILLVILLE (near Taree, approx. 300 km north of Sydney)



A Brown Goshawk, a single Latham?s Snipe in the dam beside Hillville Rd, Peaceful Doves, Dollarbird, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Brush Cuckoo etc were present in this area.


CROWDY BAY NATIONAL PARK / HARRINGTON (near Taree, approx. 340 km north of Sydney)


I spent a good 2 nights looking for Eastern Grass Owls and again without success (According to the 2002 HBOC report, back in 1999 Stephen Debus et al saw 9-10 Grass Owls in up to 8 separate locations within the park and there has been other sightings over recent years. As can be expected, not many birdos go spot lighting here and in heathland/swamps and hence a reason why these Owls probably go under recorded). I searched for the Owls mainly in the area referred to as ?Black fellows? bog about 5 km down the road to Laurieton from Crowdy Head Rd and where there has been some recent sightings. At Black Fellows bog, I did hear King Quail, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater and several Tawny Grassbirds.


Around Harrington I had a good mix birds including a Swamp Harrier, a Brahminy Kite, 3 Ospreys, a Great Knot, Whimbrel, Pied Oystercatchers, Rose-crowned and Wompoo Fruit-doves, Topknot Pigeons, Bar-shouldered Doves, Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos, Pheasant Coucal, Tawny Frogmouth, Owlet Nightjar, Barred (Yellow-eyed) and White-bellied Cuckoo-shrikes (I saw all Australian Cuckoo-shrike species except for Ground Cuckoo-shrike at Harrington in a single day), several Varied Trillers and a pair of White-winged Trillers, Rainbow Bee-eaters, Crested Shrike-tit, Leaden Flycatchers, Spectacled Monarchs, Southern Emu-wrens (one adult fed a young bird), Red-backed and Variegated Fairy-wrens, White-cheeked and Brown Honeyeaters, Spangled Drongo, Dusky and White-breasted Woodswallows, Regent Bowerbirds and Forest Ravens (Torressian Crows were the most common corvid encountered in most places visited and only a few Australian Ravens were seen north of Newcastle).


 Other animals seen (mainly in the rainforest next to Harrington lagoon) included several Lace Monitors, a Southern Angle-headed Dragon (this is like a chameleon like reptile and changes colour to match its surrounds), 2 Echidnas and a Black Wallaby. I also heard Mountain Brushtails and Long-nosed Bandicoots.


Pt 2 to follow..........

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